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संघीय प्रणाली प्रारुपका सवालहरुFederalism Issues in Designing a Federal System by Jill Cottrell in Nepali language Read more

Janajati

Jhangad

Though they live in the wide expanse of Nausaya Bigha area of the district of Dhanusha, Jhangads are also found spread from Sarlahi and Sunsari to Morang districts. The Dravidian Jhangads are a backward and minority group. They speak Kurukh Mundari. They are largely farmers and laborers. There are some differences between the Jhangads of Madhya Pradesh of India and those in Nepal. Jhangads of Nepal worship nature. They conclude their religious ceremonies by playing diga and feasting on pork and alcohol. Negroid in appearance and complexion, they either cremate or bury their dead. Pigs are their only domestic animals. According to Census 2001, their population is 41,764.

ImageScattered from Sarlahi to Morang, Jhangads are a tribal people of Dravidian origin in Nepal. Since they are found settled in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar of India, Jhangads are believed to have migrated from there. Also khown as Dhangad, Jhangad identify themselves as Orao tribe. Their language is called Jhangad. It is a language of Dravidian origin. They are basically nature worshippers. The ‘high caste' people consider Jhangad as untouchable. It is believed that this tribe has tribal relation with Bidaba of Madhya Pradesh (Sharma, BS2045).

The original and densely populated settlement of Jhangads is in the Nausaya Bigha region of Dhanusa. They are found to have settled in the river basins of the areas of Sarlahi district in the west and Morang in the east. A number of them are found today in Sunsari also (Shaha, BS2047). According to the census of 2001, the population of Jhangads is 41,764.

After childbirth, the mother and baby are taken care of by midwives. In order to protect themselves from ghosts and spirits they keep branches of the jujube tree close to the bed of the infant. They are purified in six days (Ejam, 2000). Marriage is arranged by asking the girls' parents for the girl's hand in marriage. When the wedding procession reaches the girl's house, the girl has to hide. Vermilion is exchanged and feasts and dances are organized. When someone dies they call mourners from their homes. The dead is buried. The mourners wear white clothes. In three days milk and honey is brought from the girl's home. A branch of jujube tree is required in the performance of funeral rites. Their women are given the responsibility of household chores. Men go to work in the field. Tying a gamchha (a kind of muffler made of soft cloth) on their head is a symbol of their culture. The great puja and festival called Saune Puja (puja of June-July). It is celebrated in the full moon day of Srawan. They dance in a circle playing drums and pipes. Their houses are made of bamboo mats covered by plaster of mud. The environment or surroundings of their neighbourhood are neat and clean.

There are chieftains in society who are called Manyajan (respected person) and Mukhya Manyajan (chief respected person). They have their own panchayat (village council) which frames the rules of social order. They are divided into 16 thars (clans), of which one is Bandar. Bandars call themselves offsprings of Hanuman. Their religion is mainly animism. They have, however, accepted some part of Hinduism. They see an invisible power in the tree of Karma (yellow wood). They worship Kali too. They have a practice of offering beasts to deities.

The main occupation of Jhangad is agriculture. But they are virtually landless. They are primarily agriculture labourers. Theya are suffering from exhorbitant rates of interest. Some of them owned 2 or 3 bighas (1 bigha=7,200 sq ft). Animal husbandry is another main occupation for them. They sell milk and curd. They raise pigs. So the occupations other than this are making bamboo baskets and winnowing trays also.

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